European Space Agency Awards Astroscale €800,000 to Lead a Study

4th May 2022
European Space Agency Awards Astroscale €800,000 to Lead a Study

The European Space Agency has chosen a satellite-servicing company Astroscale to conduct a collision avoidance study. Astroscale, with its experience and focus on the sustainability of orbital resources, is the perfect choice to lead the second round of Collision Risk Estimation and Automated Mitigation (CREAM) as part of the Space Safety Programme introduced recently by the ESA. Astroscale has been granted €800,000 to search for the optimal ways to navigate orbits safely without unnecessary manoeuvres. Other projects the company is taking part in are creating rocket fuel from space debris and the development of a space debris removal technology.

European Space Agency Grant Goals

Astroscale will spend the ESA grant on developing fully-automated technologies that can accurately estimate the chance of collisions with other spacecraft or space debris. Ultimately, CREAM should reduce the number of false alerts and optimise all in-orbit manoeuvres.

As part of the study, the satellite-servicing company will lead a consortium of members from Europe and the UK. One of the partners includes GMV, responsible for information sharing processes. British OneWeb will also contribute its experience in managing satellite constellations and the best ways to avoid collisions in orbit.

In addition, the consortium members will search for the best ways to deliver commands to an orbiting satellite and try to find better ways of processing the satellite data. According to the initial estimates, the research should be complete by the middle of the next year.

Previous Astroscale Missions

Astroscale already has a proven track record with the European Space Agency. It recently demonstrated an in-orbit technology ELSA-d. The multi-client servicer should be ready for demonstration in 2024. Astroscale also plans to use the ELSA-d spacecraft to test the best CREAM-2 solutions and offer the European Space Agency the best insight into orbital manoeuvres.

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